Consultation open for public to help choose how to spend £50m to make Norfolk’s buses better
Almost £50m is to be spent to make Norfolk’s buses better – and people across the county are being asked how the cash should be used.
The government announced last month that Norfolk has been allocated an indicative £49.6m from the government’s Bus Back Better Fund.
While that was only about half the sum Norfolk County Council had sought, it was still one of the biggest shares in the country awarded from the government pot.
A consultation has started seeking the views of people across the county on how they think the money could be used to improve bus services.
Last year, the council published Norfolk’s Bus Service Improvement Plan outlining ambitions for the next five years.
That includes proposals to simplify ticketing and journey information, cut fares for under 25s, bring in cleaner and greener buses, improve accessibility and bus stops, and more frequent links between where people live and where they work.
The council intends to use that plan as a basis for how the £50m will be spent – but is keen to garner people’s views on how often they use buses, what they think of them and what changes are most important to them.
Martin Wilby, the council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “Public transport is a vital service in our rural county, and this money will go a long way in us improving services for everyone in Norfolk.
“We want to see public transport that makes it easier for people to get around and helps to keep our market towns and urban centres vibrant and accessible.
“Getting more people using buses and other more sustainable transport options is key to us achieving our net zero ambition.”
The consultation, at https://norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/bsip/ is open for seven weeks, until Tuesday, July 5.
The questions are split into two sections.
Part one is about general use of buses and the barriers to people using them.
Part two asks for views on the Bus Service Improvement Plan and the priorities within it.
The council also recently secured £3.2m from the Department for Transport’s £50m Zero Emission Bus Regional Area fund.
That will cover almost half the £6.9m cost to replace 15 of First’s single decker buses with electric vehicles.